Changing identity too much trouble

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 December, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 December, 1994, 12:00am

REID said he rejected the offer of a new identity and security in New Zealand's police witness protection programme because a new life would have been too much trouble.

'The most practical effect was that my family would have to move to an area where they are not known and where I knew nobody.

'Obviously, it would have been the most prudent thing to do if my sole mission in life was to put myself beyond any threat of retribution.

'If someone's going to come and blow my brains out, then they are going to do it and there is nothing I can do about it.

'I regarded myself at serious risk before I gave evidence. I was very concerned about threats against me.

'An actual plan to have me killed was conveyed by a known source to the ICAC.

'The plan was to get me into a Hong Kong prison otherwise I would have been attacked.

'I was also worried about [accomplices and former fugitives] George Yeung, Toby and Barry Lok and Michael Chan, because if they had been found I would have been obliged to give evidence against them.

'They are no longer at risk of prosecution and the word has got out that I'm no longer regarded as a witness in Hong Kong.

'So in that sense, I am no longer a threat to anyone. The threat to me has largely dissipated.

'I'm not fearful for my safety. I'm not going around looking over my shoulder.

'If there is any threat to me, it is purely a matter of revenge of what I have done. Judith believes God is going to protect our family.

'If I could turn back the clock to 1990, I would not have agreed to give evidence. I would have served the extra time.

'I think that the idea of turning Crown witness is distasteful to most people. It's distasteful to me.

'But you have to understand the pressure I was under at the time.

'I spent weeks in total isolation in conditions in which police deal with terrorists in Northern Ireland where they break people in a couple of days.

'I went through weeks and months of that before [agreeing to turn Crown witness],' he said.